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AG Raoul joins coalition of other AGs to urge Congress to extend CARES Act

12/1/2020, 6 a.m.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 49 attorneys general that sent a letter urging Congress to extend ...

Attorney General Kwame Raoul today joined a coalition of 49 attorneys general that sent a letter urging Congress to extend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding until the end of 2021.

"As states grapple with rising coronavirus infection rates, governments, nonprofits and businesses rely on CARES Act funding to continue serving their communities," Raoul said. "I urge Congress to extend the deadline for eligible CARES Act spending to ensure that these vital programs and services continue throughout the pandemic."

Several measures to extend the spending deadline are currently pending, including bipartisan legislation in both the House and Senate. Raoul and the attorneys general are urging Congress to pass one of these measures to give states and communities additional time to utilize the precious COVID-relief resources.

COVID-19 has negatively impacted nearly every facet of American society. In anticipation of unprecedented costs and economic disruption stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act in March. The move provided more than $2 trillion in economic stimulus to state and local governments in an effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic.

One of the restrictions placed on the funding, however, limits the money's use to expenses incurred between March 1 and Dec. 30.

"This time frame likely made sense in late March when the CARES Act was passed, but we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 in the past seven months," the letter states. "Among other things, we know that the pandemic will continue to challenge communities well beyond Dec. 30, 2020 – a deadline that now seems unreasonable."

State and local communities continue to experience COVID-related disruptions. To date in Illinois, public health officials have reported 726,304 cases, including 12,278 deaths in all 102 counties. By extending the deadline for CARES Act funding, communities in Illinois and nationwide will be able to access these important resources as the pandemic continues.

Joining Raoul in sending the letter are the attorneys general of Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.